Puppies are adorable, but they can be little demons wreaking devastation in your home. Do not trick yourself into believing that they will outgrow it.
It is true that puppies are more likely to chew on things than adult dogs, but a puppy that is let go free to do as it wishes can easily become a problem for you, in the future.
Here’s a few tips that will help you keep your furniture from being torn up by your newest family member.
1. Afford the puppy a bit of it’s own space. You cannot merely take the furniture out of your house, so make sure that there is a space for the puppy that is free of it. Crate’s work very well, of a little room that’s been barricaded off from the rest of the house.
2. Make sure your puppy has plenty of the right type of chewing toys. This is a natural thing the puppy needs to do and needs to be satisfied. If he/she is teething then you can keep rubber pet toys in the fridge to help soothe their gums.
3. Try smearing a little bit of honey or peanut butter on the puppy’s toy to get them a bit more interested in it. It does not require a lot; just a small amount will suffice (puppies have a great sense of smell, after all). Make sure you give your puppy plenty of praise when he/she chews on it.
4. Be certain that the toys don’t look similar to anything you don’t want him/her to chew. For instance, a fringed rope toy may be a poor idea if you also have a rug with fringes that you do not wish to be chewed up. Cushy, plush toys can feel the same in a puppy’s mouth as cushions and upholstered chairs. If your furniture is leather or vinyl then make sure the toys you buy are not the same type of texture.
5. Be certain your puppy has plenty of exercise. This does two things. It makes it harder for your puppy to chew because he/she isn’t laying around bored at the house and also wears them out so they will probably sleep rather than chew.
6. It is critical to focus on age appropriate training. This will help your puppy to learn his/her boundaries when it comes to chewing on things. It likewise requires time and mental energy, which will wear your puppy down.
7. Be certain it tastes poorly. You can purchase certain sprays that can be applied to furniture to make it unattractive you your pet and keep them from chewing on it.
8. Consistency is very important. Make sure you do the same thing every time you see your puppy chewing on something. If your puppy starts to nibble on some furniture, say “no” firmly, give the puppy’s neck scruff a soft shake (this is what their mom would do), and give them a chew toy. Then afford the puppy praise for chewing on the correct thing.
Is your dog no longer a puppy, but still a problem child?
It is important to try to understand, if possible, why your pet is behaving the way he is. For instance, some breeds of pets such as border collies, are naturally more highly strung than others. Border collies are typically bred as working dogs so if instead they are kept as pets their owners need to be aware that they need lots of exercise and attention.
Other factors that can need to be taken into consideration include boredom, lack of stimulation, an inadequate diet (especially one with too much protein), allergies, stress, lack of attention and/or lack of exercise.
Recent environmental changes to the environment such as introducing a new pet or a new person to the home, moving house or even a new, particularly high-pitched doorbell can also be a factor. Pets may feel insecure and fearful and “act out”.
This all helps to illustrate the importance of learning to understand your pet and the context of the environment, as well as dynamics in the family which all contribute to forming your pet’s behavior.
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